DUNCAN, Okla. (TNN) -If you’re on a plane and have a medical emergency, you can’t just call 911.
In fact, the person who could save you, could be sitting right next to you.
That’s exactly what happened on an American Airlines flight to Miami, when a nurse from Duncan sprang to action to save a man’s life sitting a few rows up.
“I was just headed to Barbados to have a good ole time, but I had some excitement before we got there,” said registered nurse, Vonda Williams.
Vonda Williams probably has plenty of stories to tell, having been a registered nurse for almost 25 years. But a vacation she took in October may top them all, when she jumped into action to save a man’s life while 30,000 feet up in the air.
“I ran up there and this larger man was in the last seat closest to the window and he was out, he was pale, and he didn’t have a pulse,” said Williams.
Kenny Baker, was one of several friends accompanying Vonda on the trip. He says when the flight attendant called for medical personnel, Vonda didn’t hesitate.
“She went to doing CPR in the chair and hitting him in the chest and trying to get him going,” said Baker. “She went to telling people that she needed him out of the chair and she was telling it with authority, and people jumped up to help her.”
“It was a blessing, because not only myself even though I was the first one there, there was a family physician, an ER doctor, and there was two other nurses,” said Williams. “So it was very much a blessing that there was that much medical staff on board.”
The man finally came to, and Vonda and the others continued to work on him with the medical kit that the plane had on hand. She says there was a lot of emotions going through her mind.
“Adrenaline rush, emotional, and exhausting after the whole process is finished,” said Williams. “We were with him just sitting there on the ground for about an hour and a half making sure he was continuing to improve.”
“It was just a very scary moment, but it was a moment that was not scary for Vonda,” said Baker. “She went into action immediately and knew exactly what to do. And she had these flushed red cheeks like she’d been working the whole flight. I told my wife that if it wasn’t for Vonda, we would have probably had to land, but I think she saved that guy.”
She said she doesn’t feel like a hero.
“I’m humbled. I would do it again if I had to in a second, but I’m not truly a hero,” said Williams. “That man, he’s the hero. He’s the one that survived and he made it.”
“I think it was very heroic. She could have just easily just sat back in her chair and closed her eyes and say Oh I’m not working today,” said Baker. “She was on vacation, and she didn’t, she went and did what was right.”
American Airlines did send Vonda an email to thank her for what she did saying “without a doubt, she greatly improved a difficult situation.” And that they were “grateful that she was on board.” They also awarded her 15,000 bonus air miles as well to show their appreciation.